Well, I’ve been attending Boca-SJP games for many years.
This one was not one of the better played ones. Boca rode Mason Wiedersum’s 5G/3A effort to a win in a game where they committed 26 turnovers, many of which were unforced. SJP contributed 21 of their own and was on the losing end of 17 of the 20 faceoffs, wasting a 4G effort by Cam Etten. Last year I was able to watch the second half of their regular season game and it was a scintillating one, coming down to the final seconds.
The field was hot and that certainly contributed as this was easily the hottest day of the year so far and fatigue clearly showed later in the game on both sides. No breeze and turf. Even the crowd wasn’t into it too much. Last year it was a full ringing of the fence and loud cheers, this one felt like watching a cover band for a string orchestra.
One strange fact on the game is that only once did the teams go back and forth in goals. Otherwise it was two goals here, three there and finally Boca scoring the last five goals of the game to break a 6-6 tie in the 3rd quarter.
Well, you can’t always get what you want . . .
And now we know that the SJP-AH Delray game is huge for first round matchups in District.
Boca opened the scoring at 10:59 as Wiedersum found Tristan Haikonen alone on the right creases from low left and Haikonen’s left hand found the short side. Then at 8:38, on EMO, it was Tommy Barba finding Wiedersum cutting to the front from behind for the low shot and 2-0. Etten brought it back to 2-1 just 31 seconds later as his left wing shot found the low right corner and that was the end of the quarter.
Boca leaped out to a 4-1 advantage in the first two minutes of the second. At 11:07 it was Wiedersum beating his defender from left GLE and finding Logan Maklan at the right crease for the low shot and at 10:23 it was Wiedersum feeding Alex Dunn on the right wing from right GLE for the step down to the low left. Later in the period SJP rallied with two of their own to make it 4-3. At 4:24 it was Brandon Balshi splitting two defenders from right wing to the middle and finishing with right hand low and at 2:00 Etten took on three defenders and was able to get his right hand free for the low shot. But Boca rallied right back with 2 of their own to make it 6-3 at the half. First it was Ryan Eisenmann feeding Barba up the left wing for the low short side at 1:23 and a killer goal with 4 seconds left as Dunn took off on a clear and found Maklan in the middle for the finish.
SJP came out strong and were rewarded with 3 straight goals in less than two minutes to tie it up at 6. On EMO it was Cody Wheeler finding Travis Dick all alone in front from left GLE at 8:23, followed by Etten stealing a clearing attempt and going down the left alley for the 10-yard shot at 7:53. The game tying goal came at 6:36 as Jack Castelon and Etten teamed up on a fast break as Castelon found Etten on left wing from right wing for the tight hand step down, but incredibly that turned out to be the final score for SJP. Boca answered with two of their own, as part of a Wiedersum 4-goal run. At 4:28 he curled from behind right and beat his defender to the front for the low shot and less than a minute later he finsihed off a 4 on 3 fast break as Dunn fed him from up top to the left wing for the step down and an 8-6 lead after three.
After some back and forth with no real threats Boca made it 9-3 at 5:32 as Wiedersum split the defense down the middle and with just 1:43 left he put it away as he drifted in from the left wing for the low shot for 10-6 and Eisenmann added a last minute tally from Dunn to close the game out at 11-6.
And a lot of liquids were drunk after the game.
Boca Raton is back in action on Tuesday at Saint Andrew’s while SJP II also plays Tuesday against Cardinal Newman.
Faceoffs: Boca 17-3
Shots: Boca 28-26
Shots on Goal: Boca 18-13
Turnovers: Boca 26-21
Penalties: SJP 6-5
Mason Wiedersum 5G/3A
Logan Maklan and Ryan Eisenmann with 2G each
Alex Dunn 1G/3A
Tommy Barba 1G/1A
Tristan Haikonen 1G
Shane Doyle with 7 saves
Cam Etten 4G
Brandon Balshi and Travis Dick with 1G each
Cody Wheeler and Jack Castgelon with 1A each
Wyatt McMeekin with 7 saves
Thanks to Coach Holly and Coach Bolger for talking to me before and after the game